The P-O-X Theory (Balance Theory) refers to the idea that relationships among one person (P), the other person (O), and an attitude object (X) may be either balanced or unbalanced. It is a conceptualization advanced by Fritz Heider which assumes that interpersonal relationships can be either balanced (integrated units with elements that fit together without stress ) or unbalanced (inconsistent units with elements that conflict with one another). Heider believed that unbalanced relationships create an unpleasant tension that must be relieved by changing some element of the system .

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